Running a Gala Soft Node Headless on the ROCK Pi X

UPDATED: August 2023 If you've reached this page you are quite possibly a low-power single board computer (SBC) enthusiast looking for i...

UPDATED: August 2023

If you've reached this page you are quite possibly a low-power single board computer (SBC) enthusiast looking for information on how to run the Gala Games Soft Node on your spare Raspberry Pi.  This was me too.  

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this post the Gala Node software does not yet support ARM architecture.  Those of you who have given the Linux Headless Node install a shot on a Raspberry Pi probably got all the way up to firing up the node software only to find that it errors out on first start.

Fear not though.  Enter the ROCK Pi X

The ROCK Pi X is basically an Intel X86 processor SBC in a familiar Pi form factor.  Powered by a Z8350 Intel Cherry Trail quad core processor the ROCK Pi X has no issue running the Gala Node software, in fact this little beast can happily run Windows but that is material for another post.

There are a few online sellers who offer the ROCK Pi X.  If you do make a purchase, make sure to get the heat sink as well otherwise you MAY run the risk of the CPU throttling, although admittedly I've found running the node in its current form doesn't appear to stress it much at all, but you wouldn't want to risk it when you are waiting for your daily distribution of GALA and found that a component of the node service has failed for some reason.

* This post is relatively high level and intended for those who already have at least a basic understanding of navigating their way around a flavour of Linux.

** This setup will run the base founder node configuration with no problems as at the time of writing this article.  If you intend to run your node in IFPS configuration or any other future configuration on the Node Roadmap you may need different hardware.


  1. 1 x ROCK Pi X
  2. 1 x ROCK Pi X Heatsink
  3. Thermal Pad (I just cut pieces from 1mm thick sheet pad I got from ebay)
  4. USB-C Cable & Power Supply (check the power requirements here).
  5. Small Phillips head screwdriver
  6. USB thumb drive (16Gb should do the trick)
... ALSO ...
  • USB / Wireless Keyboard and mouse
  • An Ethernet connection to internet
  • A Gala Games account if you want to purchase a node licence, or just play their fantastic games.

  • Cut the thermal pad to the size that covers the three main chips on the board, remove protective covering and apply the pads directly to the chips.
  • Install mounting posts on heat sink.
  • Align heatsink screw holes with holes on PCB, it is designed with cavities to accommodate PCB components that only allow it to be mounted one way, it should be easy to see which way this is.
  • Screw the PCB to the mounting posts.  Not too tight!
  • You are done with the assembly.

  • Download the official version of Ubuntu server LTS using the Manual Server Installation option. 
  • Create a bootable USB to run the Ubuntu server installer.  I went the EASY method and used Balena Etcher to create the bootable USB from the downloaded Ubuntu server .iso file.
  • Follow the Radxa instructions for installing ubuntu from bootable media. I pretty much accepted all defaults on the Ubuntu server install, except I made sure to install ssh as part of the install for ease of administration (headless).  I also did not install any of the extra packages when presented by the installer.
  • Wait for the install to complete then remove the bootable USB and reboot the ROCK Pi X.  At this stage if you wish to use SSH to complete the install from another computer you now have the option to do so.
  • FIRST As a basic rule of thumb: update the package repository cache and update all packages:
    sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade -y

  • Reboot
  • Important! Disable ipv6 permanently. Edit the sysctl.conf file as an administrative user:
    sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

    Add the following 3 lines to the end of the file and save.

    Force the new settings to take effect:
    sudo sysctl -p

  • Ensure the latest curl package is installed:
    sudo apt upgrade -y curl

  • Follow the official Gala Games instructions to Install the Gala Node Software V3 on Ubuntu Linux - ignore the section on VPS obviously as you are running your own hardware: 
    curl | sudo bash

  • Follow the default prompts for setup and input your account credentials when required

    Test the service auto-starts correctly by rebooting and then trying the command:
    systemctl --no-pager status linux-headless-node@1.service

    If all is running correctly you should see similar to the below.

If you can think of a way to improve this instruction or if any methods are out of date, please let me know in the comments below or tweet @aukiman and I'll strive to update the information as soon as I can.

If you don't already have an account with Gala Games you'll need one to get a node licence.  Please consider my link if you'd like to take that step:


  1. Hey Auki,
    Thanks for this informative content on gala soft node headless, It will help me a lot.
    twitter handle - (JacobHembrom)

  2. is the ROCK a hard requirement or will a Pi 4 suffice?
    cus mine seems to work but the actual node process does not get to run for long

    1. Unfortunately the Gala node software doesn't support the Raspberry Pi ARM processor at this point in time. The Rock Pi X works as it is an x86 board which is compatible.



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Auki Henry Official: Running a Gala Soft Node Headless on the ROCK Pi X
Running a Gala Soft Node Headless on the ROCK Pi X
Auki Henry Official
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